My 30-something Bucket List

Do you ever have an idea to do something fun and say to yourself, “We should definitely do that one of these days”?  I feel like my friends and I are doing this all. the. time. So often, I don’t even remember what we’d wanted to do.

Well a few weeks ago, I read a blog post on this same topic.  I thought it was a great idea and was really motivated by this woman’s list of goals.  I’m going to make my own list, I said.  And got to thinking... and thinking... and thinking...

Crap.  I’ve got nothing.  How boring and uninspired am I?  Is there truly nothing left I’d like to accomplish?  I’ve always said I could die tomorrow and be satisfied that I’ve led a full life, but sh*t, is it bad that I’m happy to just coast through a mediocre life from here on out?

Perhaps it’s the fact that I was raised with a heavy dose of realism - that it was both unreasonable and selfish to expect to stand out in anything or to make any more than $30K a year.  Perhaps it was actually accomplishing a lot in my early years, whether I had meant to or not. Like in college when I found myself meeting and working with so many of my cheerleading idols, doing things I’d only seen on TV, and realizing I was damn good at it.  That was fun!

Photo options are lacking.  #beforedigitalcameras

And how when I turned 21 and was finally old enough to coach (yea, you see my priorities back then? Nerd.), I took my first team to states.  In hindsight I realize that can be a once in a lifetime thing in itself. 

My girls.  Couldn't be prouder.

My friends and I had the most insane, VIP, deathly ill for 2 weeks afterward trip to Vegas.  Nope, I’ll never get that experience again. 

Me and my BFFs circa 2007.

I’ve traveled to Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, South Beach, Kuwait.  Heck, I even slept for several nights in Saddam Hussein’s former palace.  In his actual beds.  Seriously.  Who else can say that??

In Baghdad. So badass.

So when it comes to writing my bucket list, I’m afraid the bucket is almost full.  The only things that come to mind now are so simple, I almost feel stupid writing them.  They are:

  1. Become a wife.
  2. Grow my own human and raise it too.
  3. Take a couples trip to Disney, New Orleans, Vegas, and Napa.  Without kids.
  4. Get to know God and His purpose for me in the next 30 years.  

That’s it.  I hope I haven’t become boring in my “old” age, but rather content.  Try writing your own bucket list.  It’s harder than you think!

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I Ruined My Own Proposal

... and by ruin, I mean it was the most amazing, precious, absolute best thing that has ever happened to me.  Ever.  But seriously, I did ruin it.  

We arrived at the beach Saturday for family beach week and the boyfriend was fixed on taking me out to this expensive restaurant on the water.  It was so sweet, but with a full load of home owner maintenance bills and a truck that broke down the night before, I could not even imagine spending that kind of money on a meal.  “Are you fracking crazy?” I wondered.  How financially irresponsible to blow your paycheck on a fancy dinner when we have grown up things to take care of!  He even suggested an alternate spot and I squashed that idea too.  We are at the beach.  There are a million other fun, less expensive places that we can hang out.  

He convinced me that we would go to the nice place only for happy hour.  Ok, that’s reasonable. We got ready to go out and he tried on 3 different shirts, even pulling out the iron to get ready.  We were meeting up with friends who apparently were also in on it and were there to take pictures of the big moment.  Unfortunately the parking lot was a mad house and we couldn’t get anywhere near.  

We ended up at another beach bar, which he deemed not an appropriate place for a proposal.  Plan ruined.  Proposal postponed.  We eventually made our way back to the condo where we were sleeping on an air mattress in a room with 3 additional people other than ourselves (another reason why I definitely had NO IDEA what he was up to).  

The next day, I was sad and emotional.  It was my last day to spend with him before we went back to work and I’d be away from home a lot.  We were also hanging around a couple of cute kids, so I was doing a lot of thinking about our situation and thinking how badly I wanted to be married and have a family of my own, but I was already 30 and it seemed nowhere in sight.  It might be too late for me.  I don’t know if I even want that stuff at this point.  My lips are quivering, I want to cry, oh no I’m crying and I’m still on the beach.  

We quickly got off of the beach and away from family.  I just wanted to go to bed and cry it out.  It was a bad day and I was in a bad mood.  I laid down on the air mattress and began to sob.  I wouldn’t tell him why I was sad because I knew he would think it was dumb, so I just kept crying into the pillow.  He tried to comfort me and tell me how much he loved me, and then said he wanted to marry me.  Thank goodness.  Keep saying it and I might start to feel better. 

Next he said he had something for me and took out a box.  (Yes, I am still crying, because I am sad, on an air mattress.)  Oh no.  Not now.  Not like this.  But my eyes saw it.  There is no turning back now. 

I threw a blanket over my face and started crying more as he told me what he had wanted to do.  I ruined it!  I’m still ruining it!  I’m in the middle of ugly crying; I’m on an air mattress; I haven’t showered today.  I even at one point think I told him to put it away and that I didn’t want it right now.  Except that I do want it. I wanted it yesterday.  And what am I going to do now?  Pretend I didn’t see it?  It was the point of no return and now I wanted to see.  I reallllllly wanted to find out what was in that box.  

He opened the box.  Wow, I’m looking at it.  Is it mine?  Do I get to keep it?  Turns out it was and he put it on my finger.  I was shaking like a leaf, still crying but happy this time. I’m pretty sure I was in shock.   

The rest of our talk was one of pure joyfulness and will always be a memory for he and I alone, and I kinda love that.  No audience, no pictures, no interruptions.  Just us. (On an air mattress. Lol.) 

For the record ladies, if he wants to take you somewhere nice, let him.  If you’re prayers are being answered, allow it to happen.  And if you ruin your own proposal, remember it can only go up from there! ;)  

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3 Easy Vegetable Combos!

As you know, I’m big on keeping up with a regular fitness routine to stay in shape.  But if you really want to transform your body, you need to watch your diet as well.  This part I am not good at.  So this summer, I’ve tried to replace some of my meals (I chose lunch) with all veggies, both for the nutritional value and to make me feel not so bad about what I might eat for dinner later.  Let’s be honest, if I want Chick-fil-A, I’m going to eat it regardless of what else I’ve eaten, so I may as well make a healthy exchange where I’m willing.

Here are my top 3 super easy veggie combos that will leave you full and  satisfied!  All require 4 or less ingredients that you probably have laying around your house anyway.  

    • tomato slices
    • onion slices
    • Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Actually started eating this when I had a leftover tray of tomato and onion that had been used as cheeseburger toppers.  Mixed ‘em together and drizzled the balsamic.  Voila! 

    • 1 can corn niblets
    • 1 can black beans
    • 1 avocado 
    • 1 pepper (I used a combination of red and yellow because they were already in my fridge, but green would be just as good!)
    • Dash of salt and pepper

This will make enough for a few lunches.  Just slice up the avocado and pepper and throw it all together with the canned stuff.  My boyfriend even started scooping it up with chips and we used it to top chicken tacos one night.  So many uses! 

    • diced cucumber
    • diced tomato
    • Craisins
    • Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ok, once I discovered it’s deliciousness with lunch #1, I figured balsamic would be good with this one too.  The saltiness of the dressing with the sweetness of the Craisins... yum.  

I’ll definitely be making these a regular rotation in the lunch menu this school year since I know they will work well in a packed lunch.  Pair it with some almonds or a granola bar and I’m set to go!  Anyone have a favorite veggie recipe to add to the list? 

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Act Like a Kid Again at the Zoo!

With summer winding down, the bf and I took advantage of one of our last days together before school starts.  My house may be a mess and I may have laundry that needs washing, but I don’t care.  I know these moments are rare and fleeting and I don’t want to miss a chance to cross something off the summer bucket list while I still can.  Not to mention, the weather was gorgeous.  So, we took a trip to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and had a blast scoping out all the animals.  I may have actually been more excited than most of the kids that were there. 
Advantages of being 5 feet tall - using the lilly pads without fear of breaking them...

and fitting into the turtle shell!

First, we saw Rise & Conquer, the official mascots of the Baltimore Ravens.  This was really exciting, especially if you’ve seen them flying around the stadium on game days, to know that we were up close with the real birds and seeing where they live every other day of the year.  

Most of the animals were lazy, especially the polar bears who I suspect were dreaming of colder weather.  

Can you find the rhinos?  They look like rocks, but they are mammals :)

Some were pacing hurriedly around their cages, like the cheetah, who we thought had quite a sad little enclosure for an animal that likes to run.   

Some were far away, but still totally awesome to look at.

Warthog piglets! Adorable!

One of my favorite parts of the trip was watching the animals interact with their keepers.  They really seemed to be best friends in many cases.  The chimps were clearly communicating with their keepers, pointing at what looked like a picture menu to indicate what type of snack they would like to eat that day.  They even use facial expressions to communicate just like people!

We even got to touch some of the animals in the “barnyard” area.  The goats were so cute and loved to be brushed!  

Most of all, I loved hanging out with my favorite person in the whole wide world for an entire afternoon! (The boy, not the goat.)  Hmmm... what else can we pack into this last week of summer?  

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Thirty, Wrinkles, and Botox??

Not to throw myself under the bus, but in some ways, I consider myself to be a somewhat vain person.  I appreciate a fit body, a pretty face, or a fashionable outfit.  While beauty certainly isn’t everything, taking care of oneself is a sign of how much you love and appreciate yourself and your future (or current) spouse who has to look at you every day for the rest of his or her life.  I mean it when I say I’m committed to looking and feeling great well into my 30’s.  But where does one draw the line?

This month, I have had not one, but TWO doctors recommend Botox to me to correct some lines in my forehead.  Granted they both have medical spas attached to their business and probably want to make a buck, but they both recommended the same thing nonetheless.  I’ve not been unaware that the lines are there either.  In fact, I’ve been pretty self conscious about it for a while.  I’ve been applying anti-aging creams since I was 18 and even tried wearing Frownies at night (a bizzare sticker like attachment that holds your skin tight at night).  The boyfriend’s grandfather even asked me once if I’d been hit with an ax in the middle of my head.  Joking, of course.  So funny I forgot to laugh.
Here you can see that pesky little thing. 

Anyway, despite my desire to remain looking young, I do accept the fact that to a degree, I will age.  I am ok with that.  I will fight what I can with creams, makeup, and exercise, but do I reallllllly want to stick needles in my face?  There’s a difference between not letting yourself go and ending up with a face like Heidi Montag or Mama Elsa.  No thanks.  I’ll pass.

Sadly, if it were that easy, I wouldn’t be writing about it.  I’ve been told it could last at least a year or even make the wrinkle disappear permanently if I deal with it before it gets any worse.  Can it be that easy?  Is Botox just 2013’s version of eyeliner or concealer?  

I can absolutely assure you, I will not be running out at Botoxing myself anytime soon.  I surely can’t afford it on my teacher’s salary right now.  However, I’ll never say never.  Has anyone out there had Botox done around my age? I’d love to hear any advice or experiences! 

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This is the ONLY clutch you need!

In my younger days, I’ll admit I had a bit of a purse addiction.  Not an expensive addiction, but like I couldn’t stop buying them, needed them in every shape, size, and color type of addiction.  These past few years I’ve gotten out of that and have been pretty much using the same bags for years.  That is until a few weeks ago when I made what has turned out to be my greatest bag purchase in a long time.

My friend, Nikki, brought her collection of Thirty-One purses (she’s a consultant) with her to one of our girls’ nights, and my eyes were immediately drawn to this little gem sitting on the windowsill... 

Teeny tiny, yet oh so functional, this Timeless Wristlet has everything it needs to be the perfect casual “going out” clutch.  It has a see through pouch on one side for your ID and a cell phone pouch on the other that fits my iphone perfectly! It’s not the kind that you can use while it’s inside the purse, but I actually like it better because it’s so easy to take in and out for picture taking/phone calls/etc.  Inside, there is room for credit cards and a money pouch.  When zipped, I can still fit my lipgloss inside with no problem. 

The print is called “Party Punch” and goes with pretty much anything from the loud colors in the stripes to the muted grey around the edges.  It has basically eliminated my need for any other clutch.  Here are just a few of the outfits I’ve been pairing it with.  

Highly recommend.  Loving these other prints as well (Lotsa Dots and Turquoise Cross Pop).  

Contact Nikki to get your own!  She’s also offering half off any purse when you spend $35 in August! ;)

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